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Defining an Industry.

Online ownership and Trading Platforms have been around for years, offering individuals the opportunity to invest small amounts into larger pools of ownership, as well as the ability to, for a fee, make trades on the markets. Often large and established companies allow for the ownership of your gold, unlike bank certificates. The first catch is that your gold is rarely distinct from owned. The second, bigger, catch is that physical delivery is expensive and often difficult to arrange.

Precious Metals ETFs (Electronically Traded Funds) can be an convenient method of exposing one’s portfolio to one or more precious metals. Unfortunately, along with several other hidden drawbacks, most ETFs carry an annual fee starting at 0.5%. You should start worrying when not only is it implausible to redeem physical bullion from an ETF, but when one does not even directly own bullion – rather, one owns a share in a fund that does. And the real catch is that ETFs often don’t own physical bullion themselves, preferring to buy bank certificates to maximize fund manager profits. Should anything happen to the financial institution they are involved with, or even to the markets on which they are traded; there is no insurance to cover your losses.

Gold / Silver Certificates and Accounts are offered by banks and often thought of as an easy was to invest in Gold or Silver. Anyone involved with the precious metals will tell you that this is one of the worst ways to expose yourself to gold and silver. A certificate only states that a bank owes you an amount equal to the spot price of a given metal. Often laden with fees, your banks will not redeem these certificates for gold or silver, as the bank does not even own any on your behalf. Sadly, what is never told to investors is that if your bank becomes insolvent, so does your investment.